Stealing from the dead is about as low as it can get, and that's exactly what is believed to have happened in Montrose, Colorado.

According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, Megan Hess, the owner of a now-defunct Colorado funeral home, pled guilty to mail fraud stemming from an illegal body part scheme she and her mother, Shirley Koch created.

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Sunset Mesa Funeral Home Leaves Dead Resting In Pieces

Beginning in 2010 up until 2018, Hess and Koch operated Sunset Mesa Funeral Directors in Montrose, Colorado.

The funeral home offered cremations for $1,000 or less, using the low price as a way to secure future profits for a truly evil scheme. The mother-daughter duo operated a body broker service from the same location and illegally sold bodies that were meant for cremation.

Megan Hess, Princess of Profit in Illegal Body Part Scheme

In addition to purposely defrauding those who had just lost their loved ones, Hess also falsely certified that the bodies were disease-free, and then sold them to research labs and other third parties.

However, many of the bodies were known to Hess to possess infectious diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B and C, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Nonetheless, that did not stop Hess from shipping these body parts across the country. Completely unaware, family members were given bags of concrete that were made to appear as the ashes of the deceased.

Hess Pleas Guilty, But Shows No Remorse

Hess reached a plea agreement with the prosecution, and as such, pled guilty to one count of mail fraud and aiding and abetting. The other charges against Hess are set to be dropped, and Hess is facing no more than 20 years of imprisonment.

“I’m taking responsibility,”  The Daily Sentinel reported Hess saying at trial. “I’m here to accept the plea. The families believe I went beyond the scope of the consent forms.”

 Despite her plea, it seems like Hess lacks accountability and remorse for her actions.

“It has been 53 months since this legal travesty began,” she said. “Fifty-three long months.”

The true travesty is that Hess stole peace from the deceased and that their families were forced to lose them again and again. They will never truly know what happened to their remains, or where they lie.

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